Adan K. Pope and Peter J. Buonfiglio
Respect the Weeds: Digital Transformation Rooted in Principled Leadership, Vision and Innovation
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What is your book about?
“Respect the Weeds” helps leaders struggling to transform their organizations in times of rapid change. Companies like Tesla and Uber have successfully leveraged cutting-edge technologies to disrupt their markets. Our book presents a holistic, yet pragmatic roadmap for digital transformation, where principled leadership, vision setting, and disruptive innovation can help our readers to dig deep and find a way to thrive (like a weed) in even the most hostile environments.
What inspired you to write your book?
Digital transformation ruins more careers than it makes. We grew tired of watching good people fail.
If you have a business related to your book, tell us about it:
Adan and Peter are the co-founders of a think tank and speakers bureau that we call Taraxa Labs LLC. We wanted to create a safe space for leaders to get out of their comfort zones, wrangle risk and uncertainty, and create unique points of view on their markets that will inform their judgments on organization, technology, and growth opportunities.
What is a typical day like for you?
Our typical day is spent putting the contents of our book to good use. Adan serves full-time as a Chief Technology Officer, leading a team of over four hundred high-performing technologists in the critical life and safety industry. Peter is a brand storyteller for a technology hardware manufacturer transforming into a software-centric organization. A typical night is spent on book promotion and writing.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
We have to admit that our Amazon book reviews have been surprisingly rewarding. You write a book because you have something to say. You put it out there and hope for the best. To have people that you’ve never met tell you that your work has impacted their lives and the careers of those that they care for brings us one step closer toward our own self-actualization.
What are some favorite books you’d recommend to our readers?
Adan is a big fan of “Team of Rivals,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin and “Lincoln on Leadership,” by Donald T. Phillips, among many other titles! Peter is reading about purposeful innovating and cause-based branding, with titles like “Beyond the Mission Statement: Why Cause-Based Communications Lead to True Success,” by Jim Armstrong.
What advice do you have to offer our readers?
Be brave! Research and market analysis are great but tend to be rooted in what others see and believe. Forming a thoughtful point of view, sharing it, and iterating on it is an exercise of extreme bravery. Collaborate with people who challenge you and who are willing to argue their perspectives. The results are magic and so fulfilling!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Business writing doesn’t have to be tedious. We drew a lot of inspiration from art, nature, jazz, pop culture, and even quantum physics. We took a chance to include our muses in our work but it appears that our readers connected with those abstract discussions. A life well-lived is a work of art in progress. Every day presents the opportunity to learn, grow, lead, follow, and create the world you want to live in.
What’s next for you?
We’re working to turn “Respect the Weeds” into a book series. Many in leadership are still treating the symptoms of their organizational problems rather than addressing the root causes. We believe we can help them.